What is the difference between 'needs' and 'wants' in terms of marketing?? I don't really get it..

by weehoi 20 replies
Back in the elementary days, my commerce teacher used to told me that need means something you 'can't' live without like oxygen, food, water, shelter, clothes, etc...

As for wants, it's something we 'can' certainly live without like any of the other things you guys already know.

So it's obvious that need is much much more important than want in that sense.



But when it comes to the subject of copywriting and marketing, the gurus emphasize that
people only buy things they 'WANT' to buy, not because they 'NEED' to buy.

Do they mean customers only buy things they 'WANT', not because they 'NEED' to buy?

I can't really understand what they are trying to explain because for me need is still something much more important than want.

Anybody who can shed some light here regarding this will be very much appreciated.

Thanks a lot for helping out.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #difference #marketing #terms
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi,

    I'll take a stab at it.

    To be an Internet Marketer you Need a computer or at least the use of one from time to time. You need an ISP, You need an eMail account and you Need a way to receive money, just to name a few needs.

    You Want the latest and greatest info product that will tell you how to make money or help you to make money. You Want a product of your own you can sell. You Want a website with all the bells and whistles. Again, just to name a few.

    We as Internet marketers, IMHO, are mostly in the business of providing Wants, thus the emphasis on Wants.

    Having said that, Wants can easily be perceived as Needs. I "Need" to be a member of the War Room if I really want to be "In" Internet Marketing.

    George Wright
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    • Profile picture of the author chriswight
      As a marketer and salesperson, it is your job to turn your prospect's wants into their emotional needs.

      They might want widget-x, but once they see the ads or hear the sales pitch, they should have a deep, gasping, emotional void that can only be filled with widget-x.
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      Chris Wight
      www.ChrisWight.com

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      • Profile picture of the author weehoi
        Originally Posted by chriswight View Post

        As a marketer and salesperson, it is your job to turn your prospect's wants into their emotional needs.

        They might want widget-x, but once they see the ads or hear the sales pitch, they should have a deep, gasping, emotional void that can only be filled with widget-x.
        Ok, that makes more sense.
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        • Profile picture of the author George Wright
          Chris is right on the mark.

          That is what I meant by perceived needs. Emotional needs is what we buy when it comes to needs. We don't really "need" anything except a few of the things you mentioned in your OP. However if we are reached on an emotional level and "need" something on that level we will even temporally give up some "real" needs to get it.

          I've passed up sleep and food to get an emotional need that I could have really lived without. I haven't ever stopped breathing for any reason though. Well, not on purpose anyway.

          George Wright
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          "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          You could look at it from "benefits vs features" of a product.

          The benefits are the ones that appeal to their desires but it's the actual features of the product that service the needs that those desires address. For example, they want to be comfortable (it's not a need), but if they have nowhere to sit, a chair is needed.

          So in your ads, you address what they desire (want) - comfort. What makes up the comfort? soft cushions, arms at the right height, vibration, pleasing color, etc. You don't sell them the chair's structure and frame.

          The fact is, your 'job' is to convince your customers that they 'want' your product. You're giving them something they need without telling them they need it. People buy mostly on emotions, so think of it from that angle.

          Sylvia
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          • Profile picture of the author adamv
            I "need" to eat food to survive. I "want" to eat chocolate chip cookies. A general "need" can be broken down into various "wants".

            People will often buy what they want over what they need. People need to eat but many people will eat the junk food that tastes good over the health food that's better for them.

            Both cookies and health foods are food and fulfill the "need" to eat but the buying decision comes down to what they want.
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            • Profile picture of the author jhongren
              I Want a Spaceship but do I really Need it?

              I Want a new laptop but do I really need it? (I have 4 at home)

              Want is Yearning but Need is Necessity.

              Cheers,
              John
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
              Here's another perspective of the needs/wants, that fits closer to being a good copywriter and marketer.

              Your average internet marketers wants to make a million overnight. What they need to do is take a long term approach, and treat it like a business, not like a lottery ticket.

              Your average overweight person wants to take a pill, go to sleep and wake up perfectly healthy. What they need to do is exercise about an hour everyday, eat natural whole foods, and reduce stress as much as possible in their life.

              Your average single male wants to learn one line and be able to go into a bar and pick up any woman he desires. What he needs to do is lead an interesting life, have inner confidence and strength, and learn how to be an attractive person to attract other attractive people.

              But what do you sell them?

              What you try to do is come up with systems, tricks, tactics and ideas that are as closely allowed to their "wants" as possible, bu will still be able to give then what they truly need to succeed.

              -Jason
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              • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
                I'll give it a stab.

                You need food.

                You want apples, or oranges, or roast beef!

                You need a generality - you want a specific.

                so what makes your specific answer to a need better than somone elses?

                Hope that helps
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              • Profile picture of the author Dick Doe
                Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

                Here's another perspective of the needs/wants, that fits closer to being a good copywriter and marketer.

                Your average internet marketers wants to make a million overnight. What they need to do is take a long term approach, and treat it like a business, not like a lottery ticket.

                Your average overweight person wants to take a pill, go to sleep and wake up perfectly healthy. What they need to do is exercise about an hour everyday, eat natural whole foods, and reduce stress as much as possible in their life.

                Your average single male wants to learn one line and be able to go into a bar and pick up any woman he desires. What he needs to do is lead an interesting life, have inner confidence and strength, and learn how to be an attractive person to attract other attractive people.

                But what do you sell them?

                What you try to do is come up with systems, tricks, tactics and ideas that are as closely allowed to their "wants" as possible, bu will still be able to give then what they truly need to succeed.

                -Jason
                Perfect answer. I often wonder how do you script such descriptive answers.
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                • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
                  Someone NEEDS to lose weight.
                  What they WANT is to take a pill and have the weight magically disappear.
                  What they WANT is to be perceived as sexy and attractive.
                  What they WANT is to look like the people they see on magazine covers.
                  What the men want is to be desired by the women on the magazine covers.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Francois du_Toit
                    It's a very good question. Here is my take on it...

                    As far as marketing is concerned you need to focus on what people WANT and not what they NEED. Let me explain it by using an example...

                    Many people need to lose weight. But, unless they want to lose weight you are not going to be selling anything to them. You need to give people what they want. (And, determine that they are willing to pay for it!)

                    It's a common mistake to identify a need and to develop a great product that will satisfy that need just to discover that nobody wants it.

                    Large corporations have lost millions by focusing on what people need instead of what people want. They often identify a genuine "gap in the market" but fail to monetize it because they do not really understand their target market well enough.

                    Here is another example... You need new clothes. Do you just go and buy anything that will fit? No, you have a look around, try on some clothes and your final decision on what to buy will be based on what you want.

                    Just my 2c

                    All the best,
                    Francois
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                    • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
                      Lots of great answers here.

                      This subject came up in the old forum and I think it was Willie Crawford

                      who said, "Give people what they want and then find a way to sneak in what they need." Something like that.
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                    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
                      Originally Posted by Francois du_Toit View Post

                      .........Here is another example... You need new clothes. Do you just go and buy anything that will fit? No, you have a look around, try on some clothes and your final decision on what to buy will be based on what you want.

                      Just my 2c

                      All the best,
                      Francois
                      Excellent wording. Getting this concept down so clearly can be a struggle, but you did it. You NEED clothes but you buy what you WANT. You don't NEED the latest high-tech running shoes, but you buy them because those are the type of shoes you want. They are more appealing and, again, it comes down to emotions that trigger the sale.

                      Sylvia
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    • Profile picture of the author weehoi
      Ok, your thoughts make sense to me.

      But I think if marketers are to create products which marketers REALLY NEED, they will definitely do much much much better...

      Maybe it takes more creativity and skill to create something people really can't live without, but it's definitely worth it compare to products that people 'WANT' to buy...

      Hmmm...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dick Doe
    Originally Posted by weehoi View Post

    Back in the elementary days, my commerce teacher used to told me that need means something you 'can't' live without like oxygen, food, water, shelter, clothes, etc...

    You NEED the Warrior Forum too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Saha
      I have a completely different view to what most people are sharing. My views are based on some study/theory on Sales & Marketing that I read long time back.

      'Want' and 'Need' are two closely related terms often used inappropriately or interchangeably.

      From Buyers point ...

      Want - is a feeble desire to own or possess something, its more generalised and more emotional
      Need - is a strong desire to own something and often leads to discomfort if not met, its more rational, its more specific & time bound

      From sellers point ...
      'Want' - is a desire to possess or own something
      'Need' - is a want that is backed by purchasing ability or the ability to acquire

      A seller should try to convert the Wants of a Buyer into his Need to generate Sale. A need is a stronger motivator to take action - Buy.

      I 'want' to buy a Porche someday. Its a desire deep down inside.
      I 'need' to buy my Porche this year. Its a definitive goal bcoz i know I have the financial strength to acquire it now.

      Good Luck!

      Stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author tadale6
    Originally Posted by weehoi View Post

    But when it comes to the subject of copywriting and marketing, the gurus emphasize that
    people only buy things they 'WANT' to buy

    When it concerns ad copy, I believe the "gurus" are speaking of building desire in your prospect, as opposed to just making a statement.

    Example 1: We provide FREE training

    OR: Imagine a company that provides you with private access to arguably the largest training resource in the world.

    Example 2: We are the best home business opportunity online

    OR: Right here and right now – you are about to discover a real business that will empower you to take both your life and finances back.


    There are many emotional triggers you can use, but basically, you need to engage your prospect.

    Ask them a question, cause them to imagine, build a desire in their mind.

    DO NOT ask them what they THINK... ask them how they FEEL!


    Tod


    _
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    • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
      Francois du_Toit got it right.

      It's marketing 101 that people buy based on wants more than needs.
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